Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles where... See full summary »
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David M. Evans
Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles where he becomes a successful music company executive. With the help of best friend, science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick himself (Shea Whigam) and a mysterious woman named Silvia (Alanis Morissette), Nick finds himself drawn into a dangerous political-mystical conspiracy of cosmic proportions. The story is set in an alternate reality America circa 1985 under the authoritarian control of President Fremont, a Nixon-like clone (Scott Wilson). Written by
Radio Free LLC
It was surprisingly satisfying to see a much-loved work adapted to screen in a way that felt, smelled, tasted like the book. There are times I read Dick and his characters' affect is brusque, maybe wooden. Intentionally or not, it was that way in parts in the film, and I loved it. It was the most home-y Dick adaptation I've ever seen. At no point did I feel the film directed the work away from his mind, his work, his thoughts. I was home, back in his books, but on the screen.
In Wales we have a word; "hiraeth". Sort of a longing, a wistful lack of home and hearth that one was. To be rid of the hiraeth one has to go home and dig one's toes into the soil, breathe in the atmosphere, and reminisce. That feeling is what I got watching this film... my Philip K. Dick hiraeth was reset for a while. Very, very few of Dick's works have been so lovingly and faithfully placed on screen.
In this instance I got exactly what I wanted: a faithful transformation from page to screen, and damn the horses. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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